Monday, May 11, 2009

My letter published in the Tribune today

Saipan Tribune

Bad press about Saipan

I really think it’s a shame that every time I do an Internet search about Saipan, I run into a bunch of articles from the Irish press griping and complaining about a place they have never been to, much less heard of. Turns out that in 2002, there was some kind of beef between the Irish football/soccer team during a training exercise, henceforth referred to as the "Saipan Incident". There’s even a Wikipedia entry (

That’s all well and good, but it seems that nowadays the very word "Saipan" is almost a curse on the Emerald Isle. Do a Google search for "Saipan Ireland" and you’ll see what I mean. Maybe there should be some kind of high-level meeting between Irish and CNMI officials, or even a goodwill game between the two teams. Or just invite members of the Irish media over for a barbecue.

I read somewhere that South Korea is spending money internationally on bringing a more positive image of themselves to the minds of people in other countries. Maybe the CNMI government should consider something similar. Koreans and Japanese know Saipan very well, so we don't need to worry about brand awareness in those countries. Probably people in the mainland USA, if they have heard of Saipan at all, only know the garment factories, the Abramoff scandal, and the recent debacle regarding the lieutenant governor. Something should be done about this.

Rick Vaughn
Chicago, Illinois

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